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Climate change and cultural heritage: political responses needed

Climate change

The Culture Committee is concerned that all forms of cultural heritage - both tangible and intangible heritage - are now directly and indirectly threatened by the consequences of climate change. And only a few member States of the Council of Europe include cultural heritage in climate change policies, with generally little co-ordination between ministries that are overseeing different issues related to climate change. “The challenges posed by climate change to cultural heritage require adequate political responses at national, regional, local, as well as European levels, and a radical change of mindset and institutional behaviour, and a review of current methods and processes,” the committee said.

Unanimously adopting a draft resolution based on a report by Andries Gryffroy (Belgium, NR), the parliamentarians called on Council of Europe member states to sign and ratify the Council of Europe Faro Convention, the European Landscape Convention and the UNESCO Convention on Safeguarding the Intangible Cultural Heritage. National, regional, and local authorities, they said, should “include cultural heritage preservation in their strategies designed to address climate change and its impact”.

The committee invited the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities to assist local and regional authorities in Council of Europe member States to play an active role in this process, and to include cultural heritage concerns in local or regional strategies to counter climate change.